Woman asks, "What does having faith mean?"

By David J. Stewart

Here's a sincere letter which I received from a lady in October of 2008...

I am a college student and I have a question on faith. By your website, faith is Jesus Christ is the only thing necessary to get to heaven, so what does having faith mean? If it means believing that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world, then well, all Christians (even the hated Catholics) believe that. It's really basic, really. But what if you lose faith? You're "born again" when you first believe, right?, but if you lose faith, then do you have to be born a third time? What if a person believes that Jesus died for their sins, then lives a life of crime? He would go to heaven, while a man who cares for others his whole life, but has never heard of Jesus dies and goes to hell!

Thank you for reading my email!


Here is my response to Anna's very good questions...

"Believe" in the Greek means "to trust, to rely upon"; not mere acknowledgement that Jesus exists. James 2:19 plainly teaches that belief (head knowledge) in God does not bring salvation. To be saved, a person MUST acknowledge their guilt of sin, being condemned under God's holy Law (Romans 3:19). We are all GUILTY sinners (Romans 3:10,23). A person as such must believe (trust) upon Jesus Christ to have their sins forgiven. It is the literal precious blood of Jesus Christ that washes away our SINS (1st Peter 1:18,19). Sin is the big issue. We are sinners, and Jesus is the Savior. Faith is trusting upon Jesus, that He is the Christ Who came into this world to save sinners, and that He will wash away our sins with His own precious blood, "...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

We must trust upon the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved... "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." To get to Heaven, our sins must be dealt with. We are incapable of cleaning up our own life or making amends (Isaiah 64:6). We need the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:33; 2nd Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:3,4). Jesus took our sins upon Himself at Calvary; and he places His righteousness upon our heavenly record the very moment we place our trust on Him for salvation.

True, many false religions today profess to have "faith" in Jesus Christ; but they have ADDED works to faith (which is no faith at all). Catholics are trusting their Church to save them, i.e., the 7-sacraments, good works, water baptism, praying the Rosary, the Virgin Mary, et cetera. Only by sole faith in Jesus Christ can a person be saved. The reason why we have to believe on Jesus Christ is simply because He is the only One Who could have paid for our sins, and He did, with His precious blood that cleanses our sins away (1st John 1:7). Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, was slain for our iniquities that we might live again. A lot of people believe in Jesus (head knowledge); but few people actually trust upon the Savior to forgive their sins and save them. Salvation is of the heart (Romans 10:9,10).

A person may indeed adopt the philosophy of Christianity, follow it's teachings superficially and become actively involved in religious exercises; and then one day renounce there beliefs. However, they never had genuine Christianity to begin with. Salvation is not a philosophy; it is a supernatural act of God in response to one's faith in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Christianity began as a divine work of God (i.e., being born again) in response to one's faith (John 1:12-14). When Christianity went to Greece it became a philosophy. When it went to Rome it became an organization. In Europe Christianity became a culture. And tragically in America it has become a lucrative business.

It is disturbing indeed to think that a murderer can go to Heaven; while a sweet and kind old lady can burn in Hell forever. However, the Bible plainly states in 2nd Thessalonians 1:8,9... "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." This includes everybody. We must look beyond the brawny criminal who murders an innocent person versus the sweet, frail, weak-framed elderly woman who gossips and refuses to get saved—both are sinners! It doesn't matter what we think. If a mass-murderer comes as a guilty sinner to Jesus Christ to be forgiven—then he will be forgiven. Ironically, there will be harlots and drunkards in Heaven; while most religious people will be tormented in hellfire... "Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you [the chief priests and elders]" (Matthew 21:31). If a stubborn old woman, regardless of how sweet and caring she may be, dies in her sins—then she has chosen to make her bed in Hell (Psalm 139:8). No one goes to Hell except those who choose to go there, by their willful rejection of Jesus Christ as their Savior.

All Scriptures quoted are from the King James Bible.

Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!